Android Game Review: Spotlight – Dungeon Village

Dungeon Village Kairosoft Co., Ltd

$4.99

Kairosoft’s unique style of casual games continues into the vaguely nerdy sector of RPGs, with what should be really thought of as ‘Dungeon Village Story’ since it is very similar to their ‘Story’ games of the past.

I love the twist on RPGs Kairosoft went with.  Do you think about how you treated towns in classic RPGs?  They were there so you could heal up, get power-ups and new gear, talk to a few people, maybe get some plot thrown at you… and then you moved on, and that town became pretty much dead to you.  What if the townsfolk there were going out of their way to provide incentives for you to stay there, instead?  Yes, I know it is kind of like that in Bethesda games such as Skyrim and Fallout 3, but okay – what if YOU were the town, and trying to lure in the heroes?

Rather than going out and enduring battle after battle to level your heroes and acquire loot, you run a small village near a prime adventuring location.  Your goal is to expand the town and make it prosper, largely by encouraging heroes to take up residence to be your monster stomping squad.  With patience, luck, and careful managing of your heroes, you can transform your village from the small community that get slaughtered whenever the neighbors get rowdy, to the first defense and great bastion of hope for the nation.  Granted, it isn’t as dramatic as all that in-game, but RPG players will understand what I’m saying.

Prepare for some simulation-style gameplay.  You never actually ‘control’ your heroes.  They just show up in your town as it gets more and more popular.  Popularity is increased with better facilities, shops, decorations, and housing.  You’ll build paths, inns, weapon and armor shops, bakeries, pubs… later on unlocking bigger structures like archery ranges, schools, and museums.  You’ll hold events to gain popularity for your town, and boost the stats of its resident heroes.  You’ll gear out your heroes with gifts of weaponry and armor to earn their favor, in an effort to convince them to ask you to build them a house.  You’ll have quests to send your heroes on, paying them a mighty fee to destroy the threats to the town or explore dungeons.  As your heroes max out their levels, you’ll assist them in career changes so they can pump their stats even further.  You’ll… you’ll… you’ll…

Long story short, you’ll be busy – but for the most part, you won’t really be playing, you’ll be watching and waiting.  Generating revenue to gain the resources to do all of these things takes time; getting the right combination of things to get that money flowing is tricky.  This isn’t a strategy guide so I’m not going to get into how to do this, but it isn’t too tricky – simply arrange matters so you’re making more money than you’re spending.  I wonder if anybody has suggested that to Congress?  (Edit note: Someone has.)

Oh Bilbo... you sure let yourself go, didn't you...

As your town progresses, you’ll be given the option to hold an event to make it larger, giving you more real estate to work with.  New monsters and bosses will appear, often with funny dialog.  Medals are handed out to heroes once a year, giving them more employment options when they max level.  I could go on, but there really is so much to talk about, so much to do – when I first started playing, this was all I can think about:

It’s a load of fun once you get the hang of it, though.  I would have to say it was well worth the price at $4.99, but compared to some of the other Kairosoft games, it lacks a replay factor.  I might play it over once, just to unlock all the things, but that’s about it.  It would be a lot more of the same over again.  Game Dev Story got me to play it over at least ten times.

THE TL;DR:

  • Same old Kairosoft, nice new flavor.
  • Simulation gameplay to keep you busy for long hours at a time.
  • Controls seem counter-intuitive and way more complex than they are, at first.
  • Zoomed-in graphics are blurry, but having a screen that rotates or zooms at all is kind of new from Kairosoft.
  • Lacks the replay value of some other Kairosoft titles.
  • Has a great sense of humor.
  • Should have been called ‘Dungeon Village Story’ to stay with the naming convention.
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2 thoughts on “Android Game Review: Spotlight – Dungeon Village

  1. Its a great pleasure to read your blog. I appreciate the effort and time you’ve put into this :)

    As for dungeon village, do you find the framerates to drastically slow down after playing for a bit? I’m currently using a galaxy nexus as well…

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